CHICAGO – While the trade with the Padres sent away arguably their best pitcher, it also featured the departure of a very versatile player.
Victor Caratini was the No. 2 catcher behind Willson Contreras but served as the preferred battery mate for Yu Darvish. On top of that, Caratini could also play first base while serving as a designated hitter, but his talents are now in San Diego.
That’s left the Cubs with a hole to fill in their roster, and on Saturday they’ve tried to fill it.
The team announced on Saturday what was reported in a few places on Friday, that catcher Austin Romine signed with the club for the 2021 season.
He would fit the role the Cubs are looking for, since the nine-year MLB veteran has spent most of his career as a backup catcher. Romine was the opening day starter in his one year with the Tigers in 2020, playing in 37 games while hitting .238/.259/.323 with two homers and 17 RBI.
The previous eight seasons he spent in the majors were with the New York Yankees, where he debuted in 2011 then played from 2013-2019. Primarily he was a catcher, playing 370 of his 405 games at that position, with 21 at first base and nine as a designated hitter.
Romine along with Contreras and Miguel Amaya are the team’s catcher’s on the 40-man roster at the moment.